In the effort to provide some counterbalance to prevailing opinion in this here “conservative” territory- I find much food for thought in the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church. This Authoritative source is most important in discerning the Church’s mind in interpreting the signs of our times- the time corresponding to our personal watch.
I offer a couple of paragraphs from the Compendium’s Chapter 8 on “The Political Community”. This chapter is a must-read for all people of goodwill who like to voice an opinon about what is the proper way to approach and regard the political community- according to general principles. I especially like the phrases: “put power into practice as service”, and “Among the deformitites of the democratic system, political corruption is one of the most serious because it betrays at one and the same time both moral principles and the norms of social justice”, and “The role of those working in public administration is not to be conceived as impersonal or bureaucratic, but rather as an act of generous assistance for citizens, undertaken with a spirit of service”.
When it comes to politics, I like what I read in official Church documents, but in the liberal or conservative press/blogs- not so much. Sure, the Church could have some of Her prudential judgments off a bit, but it seems to me that this Church of ours has seen a lot of liberals and conservatives come and go like the wind over many of centuries. I tend to trust the aged, the wise, and those with maternal and paternal affection for all humanity and all of God’s creation- which is why I celebrate my Catholicity and not the Left and Right ideologies.
So- here is some good stuff to consider from the Compendium, for me it indicates that statecraft and public service are noble endeavors, but we have let the barbarians have run of the place . Just one man’s unpopular opinion:
410. Those with political responsibilities must not forget or underestimate the moral dimension of political representation, which consists in the commitment to share fully in the destiny of the people and to seek solutions to social problems. In this perspective, responsible authority also means authority exercised with those virtues that make it possible to put power into practice as service  (patience, modesty, moderation, charity, efforts to share), an authority exercised by persons who are able to accept the common good, and not prestige or the gaining of personal advantages, as the true goal of their work.
411. Among the deformities of the democratic system, political corruption is one of the most serious  because it betrays at one and the same time both moral principles and the norms of social justice. It compromises the correct functioning of the State, having a negative influence on the relationship between those who govern and the governed. It causes a growing distrust with respect to public institutions, bringing about a progressive disaffection in the citizens with regard to politics and its representatives, with a resulting weakening of institutions. Corruption radically distorts the role of representative institutions, because they become an arena for political bartering between clients’ requests and governmental services. In this way political choices favour the narrow objectives of those who possess the means to influence these choices and are an obstacle to bringing about the common good of all citizens.
412. As an instrument of the State, public administration at any level — national, regional, community — is oriented towards the service of citizens: “Being at the service of its citizens, the State is the steward of the people’s resources, which it must administer with a view to the common good”. Excessive bureaucratization is contrary to this vision and arises when “institutions become complex in their organization and pretend to manage every area at hand. In the end they lose their effectiveness as a result of an impersonal functionalism, an overgrown bureaucracy, unjust private interests and an all-too-easy and generalized disengagement from a sense of duty”. The role of those working in public administration is not to be conceived as impersonal or bureaucratic, but rather as an act of generous assistance for citizens, undertaken with a spirit of service.